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Editor's Note

What constitutes an ideal college experience is an ongoing conversation – between students, colleagues, and professors, across the disciplines and across the ages.  In its presentation of student research from each of the undergraduate colleges and divisions, this volume of Explorations sets the stage for just such conversations. Articles spanning history from the Trojan War to the Dirty War reveal insights through the power of interpretation and the eye of the beholder.  A fashion design project inspired by the light and space of a medieval cathedral is poised for dialogue with papers on the modernist Light and Space movement, and on the portrayal of women in Gothic literature.  An engineering paper incorporating hand-drawn illustrations marries design principles with the scientific method.  State of the art telescopes allow us to look back in time to the birth of galaxies, while deep sea corals provide an archive of climate change.  The secrets of evolution are explored in petri dishes and the behavior of squirrels.  Solutions to global health issues hold promise in DNA repair, or perhaps in the microbes dwelling in the gut of a bumblebee.  Our cover image couples the science of marine life with the art of fabric-making, beautifully illustrating the connections that are possible when art and science intersect. 

We are pleased to present these articles in an online format, making them readily available to read, print, and share.


The editor and the thirteen undergraduates who contributed to this volume wish to thank Professor Gail Patricelli for writing the preface, and to acknowledge the dedicated UC Davis faculty members who have mentored these students in their research, and assisted with production.  We hope you enjoy this latest volume of Explorations.


The Scientific Method:  How Do We Figure Out Which Questions to Ask? (PDF)

Gail Patricelli, Associate Professor, Evolution and Ecology and winner of the 2012 Chancellor's Award for Excellence in Mentoring Undergraduate Research

URC Conference Poster

Artist's Statement

Faizan Dar - Denizens of the Deep

Cover Photo Credit: Rafael Medina